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Wing silently the buxom air, imbalm'd
With odours; there ye shall be fed and fill'd
Immeasurably, all things shall be your prey.
He ceas'd, for both seem'd highly pleas'd, and
Grinn'd horrible a gastly smile, to hear [Death
His famine should be fill'd, and blest his maw
Destin'd to that good hour: no less rejoic'd
His mother bad, and thus bespake her sire:
The key of this infernal pit by due
And by command of heaven's all-powerful King,
I keep, by him forbidden to unlock
These adamantine gates; against all force
Death ready stands to interpose his dart,
Fearless to be o'ermatch'd by living might.
But what owe I to his commands above,
Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down
Into this gloom of Tartarus profound,
To sit in hateful office, here confin'd,
Inhabitant of heaven and heavenly-born,
Here, in perpetual agony and pain,
With terrors and with clamours compass'd round Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed? Thou art my father, thou my author, thou
My being gav'st me; whom should I obey
But thee? whom follow? thou wilt bring me soon
842 buxom air] Spenser, F. Q. i. xi. 37.
'And therewith scourge the buxom air so sore.'
846 Grinn'd horrible] Imitated, Mr. Carey thinks, from
'Stavvi Minos orribilmente e ringhia.
To that new world of light and bliss, among
The gods who live at ease, where I shall reign
At thy right hand voluptuous, as beseems
Thy daughter and thy darling, without end.
Thus saying, from her side the fatal key,
Sad instrument of all our woe, she took;
And, towards the gate rolling her bestial train,
Forthwith the huge portcullis high up drew,
Which but herself not all the Stygian powers
Could once have mov'd; then in the keyhole turns
Th' intricate wards, and every bolt and bar
Of massy iron or solid rock with ease
Unfastens on a sudden open fly
With impetuous recoil and jarring sound
Th' infernal doors, and on their hinges grate
Harsh thunder, that the lowest bottom shook
Of Erebus. She open'd, but to shut
Excell❜d her power; the gates wide open stood,
That with extended wings a banner'd host
Under spread ensigns marching might pass through
With horse and chariots rank'd in loose array;
So wide they stood, and like a furnace mouth
Cast forth redounding smoke and ruddy flame.
868 live at ease] From Homer, Ocoì pɛła (wovтes.
879 open fly] Don Bellianis, part ii. chap. 19. Open flew the brazen folding doors, grating harsh thunder on their turning hinges.' Swift.
889 smoke] See Dante Il Purg. c. xxiv.
'E giammai non si videro in fornace
Vetri, o metalli sì lucenti e rossi,
Com' io vidi un, che dicea-
Before their eyes in sudden view
The secrets of the hoary deep, a dark
Illimitable ocean, without bound,
Without dimension, where length, breadth, and
And time and place are lost; where eldest Night And Chaos, ancestors of nature, hold
Eternal anarchy amidst the noise
Of endless wars, and by confusion stand:
For hot, cold, moist, and dry, four champions fierce,
Strive here for mast'ry, and to battel bring
Their embryon atoms; they around the flag
Of each his faction, in their several clans,
Light-arm'd or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift, or slow,
Swarm populous, unnumber'd as the sands
Of Barca or Cyrene's torrid soil,
Levy'd to side with warring winds, and poise 905
Their lighter wings. To whom these most adhere,
He rules a moment; Chaos umpire sits,
And by decision more imbroils the fray
By which he reigns:
next him high arbiter
Into this wild abyss,
Chance governs all.
The womb of nature and perhaps her grave,
Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mix'd
Confus'dly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless th' almighty Maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more worlds.
Into this wild abyss the wary fiend
Stood on the brink of hell, and look'd a while,
898 For hot] Ovid. Met. i. 19. Newton.
Pondering his voyage; for no narrow frith
He had to cross. Nor was his ear less peal'd 920
With noises loud and ruinous, to compare
Great things with small, than when Bellona storms,
With all her battering engines bent to rase
Some capital city; or less than if this frame
Of heaven were falling, and these elements
In mutiny had from her axle torn
The stedfast earth. At last his sail-broad vannes
He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoke
Uplifted spurns the ground; thence many a league
As in a cloudy chair ascending rides
Audacious; but, that seat soon failing, meetsTM
A vast vacuity: all unawares
Flutt'ring his pennons vain plumb down he drops
Ten thousand fathom deep, and to this hour
Down had been falling, had not by ill chance
The strong rebuff of some tumultuous cloud
Instinct with fire and nitre hurried him
As many miles aloft: that fury stay'd,
Quench'd in a boggy Syrtis, neither sea,
Nor good dry land: nigh founder'd on her fares,
927 sail-broad] See Maximi Tyrii Diss. vol. i. p. 214, ed. Reiske. τεινάσαι τὰς πτερύγας ὥσπερ ἱστία. And Lucret, vi. 743. Pennarum vela remittunt.' Or consult Wakefield's note. See Milton's Prose Works, i. 148: ed. Symmons. 936 rebuff] Compare Statii Theb. vii. 35.
'Atque illum Arctoæ labentem cardine portæ
Tempestas æterna plagæ, prætentaque colo
Agmina nimborum, primique Aquilonis hiatus
In diversa ferunt.'
Treading the crude consistence, half on foot,
Half flying; behoves him now both oar and sail.
As when a gryfon through the wilderness
With winged course o'er hill or moory dale
Pursues the Arimaspian, who by stealth
Had from his wakeful custody purloin'd
The guarded gold: so eagerly the fiend
O'er bog or steep, through strait, rough, dense, or
With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way,
And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies.
At length a universal hubbub wild
Of stunning sounds and voices all confus'd,
Borne through the hollow dark, assaults his ear
With loudest vehemence: thither he plies,
Undaunted to meet there whatever power
Or spirit of the nethermost abyss
Might in that noise reside, of whom to ask
942 oar] Beaumont's Psyche, c. xvi. st. 224.
'Spreading their wings like oars.'
Marino's Sl. of the Inn. p. 49.
'With wings like feather'd oars.'
And Dante, II. Purg. c. ii.
'Si che remo non vuol, ne altro velo.' C. xii. 4.
945 Arimaspian] Eschyli Prometheus, ver. 810. See Pomp. Mela; lib. ii. c. 1. Solini Polyh. xv. 22. Prisciani Pervig, ver. 700. Plauti Aulularia, act iv. sc. 8. i. p. 142. Plin. N. Hist. lib. iv. c. 26. See Bulwer's Artif. Changeling, p. 102.
949 With head] See Sidon. Apollinar. c. ii. 171. Antholog. Lat. ed. Burm. vol. 1, p. 403, Ep. cciii. for this manner of speech:
'Pastor, Arator, Eques, pavi, colui, superavi,
Capras, rus, hostes, fronde, ligone, manu.'